I haven't blogged much lately but I have an excuse: I recently gave birth to my first child and have been quite busy since then! As some of you are planning to give birth in Shanghai, I thought I'd share my experience here.
Photo taken by Barefoot Portrait, definitely Shanghai's best familly photography studio!
Giving birth in Shanghai is a costly affair if you are looking for english-speaking service. Here's a quick look at the cost of Shanghai's expat hospitals:
Source: Expat Medicare
Luckily, my insurance covered all pregnancy related bills so I was free to choose any hospital. Having heard only positive comments, I went with Shanghai United Familly. This is only one person' opinion but for what it's worth, my experience was very good.
Skilled doctors: I mainly saw a American gynecologist but also met with Chinese doctors who seemed equally good.
Attentive care (24hour emergency hotline available)
Facilities and general environment: spacious comfortable rooms, western food menu.
- Cost and lack of clarification on what is included in the packages and what isn't
- Not so central location (average commuting time from JingAn, outside rush hours: 35min)
- Availability of gynecologist and anesthesist on delivery day: Doctors take turns for the night shift and patients get whoever is on duty on D-day (I heard Parkway has a different policy) while the anesthesist is on call (it takes him about 1h to get to the hospital).
- English among nurses and midwives is not always optimal but it's probably better than most places
- Almost no information was provided on breastfeeding and some nurses seemed clueless on the matter. Maybe that topic was covered during the prenatal classes, which I did not attend because I found them too pricey (RMB2600) and too time-consuming (6 classes in the evening from 6h30 till 9pm). Instead, I met with an independent French midwife for one-to-one sessions during which we talked about pregnancy, delivery and post-delivery issues (breastfeeding among other things). I couldn't be happier about it and strongly believe that knowing what to expect at every stage helped me face the challenges ahead. (Should you wish to know the midwife's contact details, please contact me directly).
Again, this is only one person's opinion, if you are expecting a baby and wish to learn about Shanghai's possibilities or read other people's experiences, I highly recommend downloading this guide, visiting Bumps & Babes and joining the Shanghai Mamas community.